Analysis: NCHIMUNYA MUVWENDE
IT IS a known fact that the business of a business is business and nothing less. Running a business can be challenging and it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve a high level of success.
Whether you are already in business, or looking to start a business, it pays to heed the advice of others who have walked in your shoes. It is often said that it takes one step at a time to cover a thousand miles. Perhaps the question we should ask is what makes a successful business? Why do some businesses flourish while others don’t? What strategies can make you manage your business better? Well, this article to elaborate just that.
Have a good start
Most people miss out on reaching their full potential because they never start. They are always preparing, planning and waiting for the best time to start. Having a good start does not entail making profits when you just start your business but rather to ensure that you do all it takes to have a successful business. When you decide you want to manage a particular business, learn to apply all your effort and mind to it because its success heavily depends on you. You are the person with the ideas and vision of the business while others are there to assist you. Remember that people you share your ideas with can either build or destroy your business and so be careful with the people you contract to help you. Avoid sharing each and every idea of your business with people who cannot add value because it’s more like blowing in the wind and expect an echo and remember that competitors are happy to steal ideas from others, so it’s better to quietly sit on a plan until you put it into practice. Apply all the good ethics and avoid using family if possible because they are the ones that usually bring businesses down. You have to consistently keep doing the things necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money over the long term.
Start a business you think you can manage
Many a time, people start up a business because they have been told there is a lot of money and so will rush into doing the business and when they make a loss they easily give up. I’ve realised that those who achieve greatness professionally and personally follow their passion. The reason why great people are few and far in-between is because most people don’t even know what their passion is. To have a successful business, always attempt to attach your personality to your business and you may be able to use it to your advantage. If you are a friendly person, try finding a business that you will be able to interact with people and believe me this will help you. If you provide better service for your customers, they will be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competitor. No two people are exactly the same and so the success of your business is related to your personality and attitude. Do not start up a business simply because everyone else is doing that business or simply because someone else managed but rather have an introspection of whether you think you can manage because if you do the same thing as everyone else, it’s hard to be successful. However, do not undermine your capability to make it. I’m not saying go for simple businesses, challenge yourself with bigger ideas but do not exaggerate the business because you cannot climb the ladder from the top.
Things rarely work out the way you planned and there will always be distractions and stumbling blocks that you have to deal with when you are on your road to success. The key point to remember is to persist and to develop the courage to move on even when everyone around you is telling you it is okay to give up because you understand where you want the business to reach. This does not mean stubbornly holding on to your original plan but rather continuing to pursue your goal as long as the reasons for doing so are still valid. When everything seems to be going wrong, keep in mind that “the road to success is paved with a thousand failures” so each failure actually brings you closer to where you want to be. Despite all this, be open to new ideas that positive-minded people will bring to you.
Have a positive mind-set
Just because you open a business doesn’t mean that you’re going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals. If you enter a business and expect to make so much money but instead it all seems to be losses, keep your mind positive and change your strategy. Am not saying keep making losses No! It might be that the strategy being used is not too good. The success of a business heavily depends on you the owner; remember that whatever you do will affect the business. To have a positive mind-set, all you need is to be calm when making decisions, ensure that your emotions do interfere with the decisions you make. Having a positive mind-set also comes with associating with the people that are of such characters.
Always look out for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out among competitors. Recognise that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and approaches to your business
Have discipline and Sacrifice
This is what most entrepreneurs’ lack, financial discipline. When you make a big profit on a good day, you feel it’s time to celebrate your success and buy things that are more expensive than you would on a normal day. The secret of having financial discipline is always to plan your expenditure as if the amount of profit you get is always the same. The lead-up to starting a business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. In many cases, you have to put in more time than you would if you were working for someone else. In turn, you have to make sacrifices, such as spending less time with family and friends in order to be successful. When starting up a business, it’s advisable that the first profits you make are put back into the business.
The author is a fourth year Economics student and a member of the University of Zambia Business and Economics Association (UNZABECA).